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On the new episode of The Jazz Session, Jason Crane interviews bassist Miroslav Vitous. Vitous came to the U.S. in 1966, and quickly became part of the New York jazz scene. He was a founding member of Weather Report along with Wayne Shorter and Joe Zawinul. Vitous played on the landmark trio session Now He Sings, Now He Sobs (Blue Note, 1968) with Chick Corea and Roy Haynes. Vitous's new album is Universal Syncopations II (ECM, 2007), the sequel to his critically acclaimed Universal Syncopations (ECM, 2003). The album features trumpeter Randy Brecker, woodwind player Bob Mintzer, drummer Gerald Cleaver and many others.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.